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Neurochem Res. 2006 Jan;31(1):11-20.

Nitric oxide production in striatum and pallidum of cirrhotic rats.

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Departamento de Neuroquímica, Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugía, "Manuel Velasco Suarez", Mexico City, Mexico.


Ammonium and manganese are neurotoxic agents related to brain metabolic disturbances observed after prolonged liver damage. The aim of this study was to assess the production of nitric oxide (NO) in the brain of cirrhotic rats exposed to manganese. We induced cirrhosis by bile duct ligation for 4 weeks in rats. From brain, striatum and globus pallidus were dissected out, and NO synthase activity and the content of nitrites plus nitrates (NOx) were determined. In pallidum we found a diminished constitutive NO synthase activity from cirrhotic rats, independently of manganese exposure. This result was confirmed by low levels of NOx in the same brain area (P<0.05, two-way ANOVA). This finding was not related to protein expression of NO synthase since no differences were observed in immunoblot signals between cirrhotic and sham-operated animals. Results from present study suggest that the production of NO is reduced in basal ganglia during cirrhosis.

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